Countryside House in Steinberg - Architect: Hope of Glory; Photos: Kasia Jackowska
Countryside House in Steinberg- Architect: Hope of Glory
Architect: Hope of Glory

At the beginning there was a place – a tiny old house, at the end of the road, standing on top of a vineyard with a broad view over the green foothills of the Alps. It used to be a wine cellar, refurbished to become a holiday house of Ruth Grünberger, the homeowner, family living in the nearby Graz. She has spent her childhood there – and recalls that she has always planned to live in Steinberg. The old house stands in the middle of a protected zone, so the possibilities of an extension were limited not only by the steep site, but first of all by local regulations. It was not allowed for the extension to have a larger footprint and overwhelm the existing building.

The newbuild extension is connected to the wine cellar building with a glazed structure conveying a feeling of being outdoors. As the planned extension was meant to be dedicated to living with a view, the position of the living room, the most important area of the house, was set. It is hovering above the landscape, seemingly without border to the outside: a large terrace extends the space beyond the glazing. The cantilevered volume picks up another theme from the vernacular architecture, the plinth, altering its appearance from massive to transparent.

Countryside House in Steinberg with VELUX roof windowsArchitect: Hope of Glory; Photos: Kasia Jackowska

Clemens Luser

architect at Hope of Glory

VELUX invited me to a daylight symposium in Berlin after the house on Steinberg was constructed. I dug deeper into the theory for the first time – listening to lectures, learning about the influence of daylight on the perception of the rooms. It was interesting to get so many perspectives on the importance of daylight.

Countryside House in Steinberg with VELUX roof windows
Architect: Hope of Glory; Photos: Kasia Jackowska

The building not only fits into the surroundings with a well–proportioned volume. Also, the chosen materials mirror the local tradition. Only the cantilevered part is cast in concrete, the building above it is executed in timber–frame construction, clad with black painted boards. A red-tiled roof follows the local regulations, though it stays modern thanks to precise detailing: the gutter is hidden within the construction, allowing a sharp roof edge. The VELUX roof windows are positioned in a row, resulting from the grid of the roof construction.


Countryside House in Steinberg with VELUX roof windows
Architect: Hope of Glory; Photos: Kasia Jackowska

Finishing materials of the interior were chosen in a similar down–to–earth manner: there are stone tiles and wood on the floors, walls are plastered and painted white. The precise and straightforward design leaves space for personal decorations and traces of everyday life, without losing its clarity.

Simplicity of the construction does not exclude modern technologies: a heat pump and solar panels ensure an environmentally friendly energy gain.

Project details

Project: Countryside house
Location: Steinberg, Austria 
Architect: HoG Architektur ZT GmbH 
Year: 2012
Photos: Kasia Jackowska